Dick & Lottie and Alan Ayckbourn

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Dick & Lottie is the UK's only drama company exclusively dedicated to the works of Alan Ayckbourn. This website is the patron of the company supporting its long-standing commitment to the works of Alan Ayckbourn.

Dick & Lottie

Dick & Lottie was founded in 2004 by John Cotgrave and Richard McArtney; two hugely dedicated Ayckbourn fans. Based in Huddersfield at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, the company was formed to present the works of Alan Ayckbourn to the highest possible quality and standard, staying true to the vision and spirit of the playwright's writing. Initially an amateur company, Dick & Lottie has produced almost 40 Ayckbourn shows since 2004.

The company has even performed
Private Fears In Public Places for the playwright in his own rehearsal room in Scarborough in 2015; the only time Alan Ayckbourn has extended such an invitation. That same year, the playwright agreed his Archivist - Simon Murgatroyd - could become Dick & Lottie's Patron and their work and ethic be promoted via his official website.

In 2018, Dick & Lottie turned professional with a mission statement to inspire, entertain and challenge audiences with first class productions from the Ayckbourn canon.

Dick & Lottie currently presents between three and five professional productions a year. It will be presenting
Private Fears In Public Places in New York in 2019. Further details about Dick & Lottie and forthcoming productions can be found at www.dickandlottie.com.

Patronage

In 2015, Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website became Dick & Lottie's patron through Sir Alan's Archivist, Simon Murgatroyd. The patronage celebrated the passion, commitment and dedication of the company to Alan Ayckbourn's writing according to Simon.

“I have known John & Richard for many years and seeing their company, Dick & Lottie, grow and succeed beyond anyone’s expectations has been a pleasure. I have met few people so committed to producing an authentic Ayckbourn experience and their productions constantly set a benchmark for productions of his plays. I’m delighted to be the company’s patron and have the website supporting their work and playing a part in the company’s future.”

In 2018, Dick & Lottie turned professional after more than a decade as an amateur company. At this exciting time, the website is proud to continue its patronage and support of Dick & Lottie and wishes it all the best in future ventures.

Why Dick & Lottie and why Alan Ayckbourn?

by John Cotgrave, Artistic Director of Dick & Lottie
I cannot recall how the name for the company came about, except that In the foyer of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough is the benefactors board. Although it more than a decade now since I donated funds to the theatre my name sits on that board. Above my name sits Dick & Lottie and I recall thinking how clever and imaginative that an anonymous donor had used the two off-stage characters to cover their generosity. I think that was the prompt for the name of the company.

The one question I get asked - more often than not -  is who are Dick & Lottie? Am I Dick? Is Richard, Lottie? Once, a piece in the Huddersfield Examiner named me Dick Cotgrave, which confused a lot of people. 

As for why Alan Ayckbourn? I was first introduced to Alan Ayckbourn back in 1988. I'd started sixth form college in the centre of Manchester and in my free time I'd spend hours at the Geoffrey Clifton Theatre Book shop. As you entered the shop the right hand wall was adorned with every published script available - usually French's acting editions. They were all in alphabetical order and starting at the very beginning I picked up my very first AA script, flicked through it and read some dialogue - that play was
Absent Friends. At the same time my sixth form tutor leant me a video of the recent BBC production of Season's Greetings which I simply marvelled at and watched countless times. 

From that point on I was hooked. I'd discovered Marge and her kitchen-roll holder and that was it. Alan Ayckbourn has been in my life ever since. He's a great story teller. I enjoy the stories that he's written: The complex and dysfunctional relationships; the clever structures of his plays; the challenges he sets theatre makers; the focus on woman and their relationships with marriage and men; the breakdown in communication and language; the carefully crafted moments of chaos giving the audience moments of hilarity; the massive contribution to British theatre. 

His plays have become best friends I've spent so much time with them.

Upcoming Productions

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Improbable Fiction
Salford Arts, Manchester
12 - 13 October

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GamePlan
Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield
22 - 26 January 2018

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Private Fears In Public Places
Davenport Theatre,
New York
Spring 2019

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